Today is the first day of the great 30-Day Vegan Workshop.  I spent last week cleaning out my kitchen and making vegetarian dishes in preparation for this challenge, a way to ease this family into a new way of eating for the month.  It was pretty easy, but every time I got out the butter or cheese, I had a small sinking feeling; what will I do without these dairy staples?  What will we do for protein?  Desserts?

We had a Farewell to Meat dinner with friends on Saturday night.  There was steak, lobster, ribs, and chicken around the restaurant table, as well as jokes about bacon towers and spiral cut ham plates.  We did our best to sample all the tasty meaty goodness we could; it was fun, but also a little fraught for me.

This may be a permanent goodbye to meat for me, as I have been wrestling with the dilemma of whether to veg or not to veg for some time now.  I love animals. I grew up eating meat.  I’m an omnivorous foodie.  This will be a major lifestyle shift.  For awhile I appeased these vegetarian urges by buying all-natural, “happy” meat. I definitely felt better about that than buying big industry beef and chicken, and yet…

This month will reveal how I truly feel about going vegetarian, I suppose.  But more than that, I am looking forward to a rejuvenation, a refreshing of my body and spirit through the thoughtful act of preparing clean, whole food.  The process naturally brings up the desire to make other areas of our life clean and whole.  It’s only fitting that this challenge is happening at the first blush of spring.  That urge to clean and refresh the house, organize and de-clutter is strong this time of year! So it’s going to be a whole body, whole house spring cleaning, and I am excited.

What are some of your favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?

11 thoughts on “V-Day

  1. Not vegetarian or vegan, but I do deal with food allergies in the family. What helped most when I was getting used to our new diet was to think about the foods we *could* have, rather than worrying about what we weren’t able to have anymore. Specialty oils (coconut, sesame, olive) became my new friends. 🙂

    Thought of you when I ate supper tonight: toasted sourdough bread, rubbed with a garlic clove, topped with a couple crushed grape tomatoes. Yummy!

  2. this is a great idea. If I didn’t love a roast so much I could almost certainly be vegetarian. I often order vegetarian meals out (esp breakfast) and love the rich variety.

    Me, I’m a lentils girl. I adore them and love finding new ways to make whole meals out of them.

  3. What luck! I have been looking for a vegan conversion blog for so long. I’m in the process of converting as well, but no farewell party to tasty hams and steaks…mine is more a private affair 🙂 I’m also not nearly as organized, and I’m looking forward to reading all the experiences you have along the way. Thank you so much for the willingness to share your experience in this 🙂

  4. I’ve been vegetarian since the start of the year (with one exception in an awkward work-dinner situation). I don’t actually think eating animals is wrong per se, but I’ve just grown too uncomfortable with the way that most meat is produced. Basically, it’s not something I miss enough to want to shell out real money for the “happy” meat.

    I wasn’t eating that much meat beforehand, so it wasn’t a huge switch, but I’ve started making a lot more bean and rice type dishes, of which there are many, many varieties that I haven’t even begun to explore. I made Rachael Ray’s Zucchini Chili (http://bit.ly/fwL825) last night with spinach rice and it was delicious, especially for lunch today.

  5. Hi there, had to follow a fellow knitter over from 30 Day Vegan. I love the Owlet pattern and Malabrigo…mmm…what’s not to love?!

    I’ll also share my current quick recipe, what my kiddos are calling Carrot Ribbon Yum: make carrot ribbons with a peeler (I usually do 2 or 3 just for me!), crush a sheet of nori and mix it in, top with some sesame seeds. Mix some sesame oil and rice vinegar (anywhere from 1:1 or 1:2) and throw it on. Delish! I tried it with grated organic baby carrots and the taste is not nearly the same, definitely use the long carrots.

    I jut CO a sweater for my 8 y/o and am hoping to finish it during the workshop…we’ll see! Cheers!

  6. That does sound Yummy! I like the sound of a knitting project to go along with the workshop. I am looking for a new project…

  7. If you haven’t checked it out yet, vegweb.com is wonderful for vegan recipes. I have found that now that I have been a true vegetarian for over 6 years and didn’t eat red meat for a year and a half prior, that I can’t imagine actually cooking with meat. Personally, I love chickpeas and black beans and go for most recipes that contain them. Couldn’t be vegan though as I love my cheese, yogurt and ice cream too much.

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